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Alaska Passage

Alaska Passage(1959)

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Al Grant, part owner of the Northern Transport Trucking Company of Tanana Crossing, Alaska, is on his way to deliver a shipment with his fellow driver and friend, Peter Harris, when they are forced to turn around because the road has washed out. On the drive home, they pass a shapely woman carrying a suitcase and offer her a ride. The woman, Tina Boyd, explains that she had answered an ad for a ride to Fairbanks, but when the businessman who placed the ad turned lecherous, she abandoned his car for the road. Al drives Tina to Tanana Crossing, where Lester, the owner of the general store, persuades her to stay because the town suffers from a paucity of pretty women. After Tina accepts a job as the hostess at the local café, Al helps her settle in at the motel. Upon returning to the office, Al learns that his faithful mechanic Barney has been fired by Jerry Mason, Al's silent partner, who has just arrived from Seattle. After Mason, a hard-headed businessman, criticizes the trucking operation for its inefficiency, Al points out that Mason is not familiar with the difficulties of trucking along the Alaska Highway. Frustrated by the company's lack of profit and his partner's constant complaints, Al goes to the café to commiserate with Tina. Later, Tina visits Al at his office and cajoles him into a kiss. They are interrupted by Mason, who concedes that he needs to learn more about the business and asks to go on a trucking run. The next day, while listening to his short-wave radio, Al hears his pilot friend Hubie radio for help. After Hubie declares that he is going to try a forced landing, Al ascertains the plane's coordinates, then loads his jeep with supplies and drives off to rescue Hubie and his co-pilot Hank. Tina insists on joining him, and when they arrive at the crash, they find that Hank has suffered a broken leg. After setting Hank's leg, they camp for the night, and once the others have fallen asleep, Tina awakens Al and they make love. The next day, they all drive back to town and Mason returns from his jaunt as a trucker with new respect for the Alaska Highway. After Mason criticizes Barney for repairing a truck belonging to an elderly man beloved by the community, Al accuses him of lacking compassion and respect for others. When Mason then offers to buy Al's share of the business, Al observes that no one would work with Mason because of his attitude. Soon after, Mason's glamorous wife Janet, the woman who spurned Al for Mason's riches, arrives. When Mason suggests they all dine together, Al accepts, but midway through the meal, remembers that he has made a date with Tina. Although Al asks Pete to explain the situation to Tina, Tina suspects that Al stood her up for Janet. When Mason is called away to the office to answer a business call, Janet tells Al that she still wants him. Later that night, when Al returns to his cabin, he finds Janet waiting for him there and they passionately embrace. The next day, Janet goes to her husband's office, and soon after, Jack McCormick, a belligerent truck driver fired by Al for drunkenness, bursts in and begins smashing the furniture. Just as Mason pulls a gun from the desk drawer, Al arrives, slugs McCormick and throws him out of the office. As word comes of an impending snow slide, Al and Pete prepare to make a hasty delivery before the road is blocked. Janet, meanwhile, approaches Tina, who calls her a tramp and informs Janet that she saw her slink out of Al's cabin the previous night. Upset, Tina goes to the café and tells Pete that she is leaving town. Pete pleads with Tina to stay, then climbs into the truck and drives off with Al. Bored, Janet tells Mason that she is going to a movie, then sneaks into Al's cabin to await his return. That night, as Janet waits in the darkened room, Mason enters. Mistaking Mason for Al, Janet runs into his arms after which he slams the door in her face. As they drive along the perilous highway, Pete mentions Tina, but Al angrily silences him. After cautiously guiding the truck over a slippery snow slide, Al safely returns home and finds Janet waiting for him. Declaring that she owns half of Mason's interest in the trucking company, Janet proposes that she and Al take over the business. In response, Al throws Janet out and Tina witnesses her humiliation. To patch things up with her husband, Janet lies that Al was trying to take over the business, but Mason sees through her deception and announces that he plans to divorce her for infidelity, thus insuring she will be denied alimony. Enraged, Janet pulls the gun from the drawer and shoots Mason. Hailing Barney's truck, Janet orders him at gunpoint to speed into the hills. After finding the wounded Mason, Pete and Al pursue Janet in their truck, while Lester and Tina follow in a jeep. Barney's truck careens dangerously around a corner, and hits the hazardous snow slide. Barney manages to jump to safety, but Janet, trapped in the cab, plunges to her death over the side of the mountain. As Al stares down at the wreckage, Tina tenderly comforts him.